Salesforce Launches Sales and Service Apps for Small Businesses

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted March 25, 2018

Salesforce recently launched Essentials, a new collection of cloud-powered apps that use automation and artificial intelligence technologies to help small businesses build more engaging and rewarding customer relationships.

Two Salesforce Essentials apps are available now: Sales Cloud Essentials and Service Cloud Essentials. They enable small businesses to ditch the repetitive and manual processes that rob users of crucial time that is better spent on closing a sale or delivering exceptional customer service. According to the customer relationship management (CRM) specialist, small business users spend nearly a quarter (23 percent) of their workday manually imputing data.

Salesforce's new Essentials apps capitalize on Einstein's intelligent capabilities to free up valuable time and help workers stay focused on their sales and service activities. Introduced in 2016, Einstein is the company's artificial intelligence platform, powering advanced analytics and self-learning capabilities that providing enterprises with more personalized customer experiences.

Now neighborhood shops, local companies and other smaller organizations can use those capabilities to grow their own businesses.

"There are more than 125 million small businesses around the world all working toward one common goal — growth," stated Mike Rosenbaum, executive vice president of CRM Applications at Salesforce, in a March 13 announcement. "With Essentials, we've taken the full power of Salesforce and tailored it for the unique needs of small businesses. Essentials is easy to set up and use — and it's future-proof, so small businesses can add new capabilities quickly and easily as they grow."

Sales Cloud Essentials provides an organization's sales staffers with a comprehensive view of each customer, including a history of a customer's activity, communications and internal discussions concerning an account. The app's dashboard and reporting features help users keep track of their company's performance.

Designed as an easy way to set up a small business helpdesk, Service Cloud Essentials allows users to complete customer service tasks on a PC, smartphone or tablet.

Informed by a customer's every interaction with a small business, the app provides rich context around issues that may arise, allowing for a quick and satisfying resolutions to problems that may crop up. In addition to handling customer service requests made via phone and email, it can also accommodate requests made on Twitter and Facebook.

Mobile users can access Essentials with the Salesforce Mobile App, which uses the company's Lightning framework to deliver a consistent yet customizable experience across devices. Users can personalize their Salesforce consoles by rearranging the app's interface elements to suit their needs.

Of course, the prospect of learning a new app can be a daunting one. Salesforce has thought of that, too.

Users can get up to speed using the company's online training and learning environment, called Trailhead. With interactive lessons, Trailhead instructs workers on how to setup Essentials and develop their skills, regardless of how computer-savvy they are.

Salesforce is tackling a big issue that's keeping small businesses from modernizing their sales and customer service operations. Most small businesses (62 percent) agree that training would help improve their businesses, yet it's often out of reach due to time and cost constraints.


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